Baby Marrows for sale

It was good seeing the size of the baby marrows which have been harvested at Ebenezer. 30kg went into town this afternoon. It takes 3 months before baby marrows can be harvested and harvesting can last between 3 - 5 months. Not bad!
Molly Manhanga


from a woman's point of view......

Siphilisiwe Mlilo

It was wonderful catching up with Siphie today and listening to her point of view of things happening at Ebenezer.
1. Business is going really well and the apprentices are covering Money Matters and the Ebenezer System. The Advancers are going through a Leadership Course with Steve Manhanga, Skha Matshalaga and Siphie Mlilo.
2. There seems to be no relational issues at the moment as both the boys and girls are super busy in their fields. They are working brilliantly preparing to plant peas and tomatoes.
3. Theft has gone down. For the greater part of last year, theft amongst the apprentices was rife. They would steal cell phones, solar panels, clothes, money and toiletries on a regular basis. Things are much better now!
4. With the money that the apprentices are receiving from Ebenezer, some are investing in building homes and buying cattle while some want to start a pig project. Others are basically saving their monies (keeping the cash).
5. Ebenezer has a new generator which is used to provide light in the evenings. This has helped so much in terms of apprentice evening entertainment and Family evenings. Light, light, glorious light! Everyone can now be accounted for.
6. A MAJOR HIGHLIGHT: 3 apprentices who graduated from Ebenezer last year each went away with about USD1, 000-00 and have started their own micro businesses. This is exciting and we wish them well in their business ventures.
7. The staff are spending time in corporate prayer and seeing God at work in and amongst the difficult circumstances

Seems like its happy days for everyone at Ebenezer at the moment.

By Molly Manhanga


Catching up with George Mlilo on Agriculture

George Mlilo(Left) and Jacques Dupreez(right)

We are already in the middle of January 2012. It was good catching up with George Mlilo on what’s happening on the agricultural side at Ebenezer. This is what he said....
1. We are looking at the water situation carefully.
2. We are cutting back on the land under current use to the use of land that can be irrigated with the current water capacity.
3. We will be planting tomatoes in the first week of February. The previous tomato crop was ‘average’ due to water stress.
4. The butternut has done extremely well - Within the commercial bracket in terms of yields.
5. We did well on maize but there is room for improvement.
6. The melons and baby marrow have germinated really well. Infact, the baby marrow has fruits at the moment.
7. The peanut crop is very promising. The last fertiliser application was done last week.

What are your hopes for 2012?

In 2012, we are ‘upping’ the standard of crops. We are using the Foundation for Farming methods and therefore, we need to be faithful with the little we have and farm to a high standard.

By Molly Manhanga


Spiritual Lessons in progress

Steve Manhanga

Stephen was sharing with the 2nd year apprentices that they will be studying the Bible chronologically i.e. in order in which events took place. Genesis is the foundational book of the Bible. The Bible is rich and deep in content and themes. The class looked at how the Bible addresses 3 major issues of the topic of sin:
1. What God has done so people can be saved from the first great problem sin has caused.
2. What God has done to set people free from sin that is controlling their lives.
3. What God will do so people will be completely free from all the problems sin causes.

The mixing of these 3 issues has been one of the major contributing factors to the existence and increase of the many different cults, religions and denominations.

Steve with 2nd year apprentices

The lesson was enjoyed by all and they continue tomorrow.

By Molly Manhanga

Lessons are underway pt 2

Skha Matshalaga

Skha Matshalaga teaches Agriculture, Level 2(Intermediate) English and Maths at Ebenezer. I listened in whilst she was teaching Agriculture and the lesson was enjoyable. The apprentices seemed so relaxed, understood what she was teaching and participated in discussions. I asked Skha on her take of the results of last years’ English exam and she said that some apprentices did well while some struggled.
At the moment the classes are much smaller due to appren
tices that graduated at the end of last year.

By Molly Manhanga

Lessons are underway pt 1

Siphilisiwe Mlilo

Siphilisiwe Mlilo teaches Business and Level 3 English and Maths at Ebenezer. Her lessons are underway and she is teaching the 2nd years Money Matters in Business while the 1st years are doing Contracts. Siphi says the lessons are going well and the response from the appys is good. The apprentices are excited at the start of 2012 and are exhibiting a positive attitude to learning..........I guess it’s a new year with new hopes and resolutions.

By Molly Manhanga


Agriculture overview with Jacques Dupreez and George Mlilo

1. Nov./Dec. was spent planting

2. Activities should begin to happen in January

3. Rainfall hasn't been too profound yet. The very late rains could have both positive and negative effects on the crops.

4 First time planting groundnuts and hope to 'crack' it!

5. There are quite a few plots that unattended. Have the labour but need to contain the pressure i.e. weed, fertilise, water etc all at the same time.

6.Peanuts, sugarbeans, melons, baby marrow and carrots have germinated.

I'm hoping to catch up with Jacques and George and see how the crops have faired in January.

By Molly Manhanga


About food pt 2

Sadza, relish, fish & eggs

We all know that growing young men (and ladies although they are more concerned about quantity) need lots to eat. It was good seeing a group of first year apprentices cook some 'extra' food as the hunger pangs from lunch hadn't disappeared. Their menu was.........interesting....sadza, relish, fish and eggs. I asked them where the eggs fit into all this and they responded that it was 'lunch with a difference'. They looked ready to dive in and enjoy their efforts.

First year apprentices "topping" up on lunch!

By Molly Manhanga

About food pt 1

Taste ‘em once! Mopani worms

Mopani worms are normally seen at Ebenezer between March/April and now December/January. See a butterfly and you think of a worm! The metamorphic process is quite incredible!

Everywhere in the world people are interested in tasting new dishes and delicacies and that includes crickets, ants, scorpions etc. So why not try the Mopani worm? Now I’m told by Mopani worm lovers that this is truly a delicacy. I’ll take them at their word! There are many Mopani trees around Ebenezer and the worms can either be picked from the trees or from the ground. Mopani worms are like caterpillars. You hand pick them by the tail and squeeze out the insides like how you squeeze toothpaste. Slimy green contents from the gut come out. This doesn’t sound great but again, I’m assured that once sun dried, roasted or smoked, they taste divine. Mopani worms are highly nutritious and a good source of protein. Many folk in the rural areas eat Mopani worms.

It was quite fascinating watching one of the first year apprentices rolling a Mopani worm in her hand and letting it crawl on her arm.

By Molly Manhanga


Meet Mbusiso Ndlovu

Mbusiso is employed at Ebenezer doing farming as well as teaching the apprentices how to farm. This is what he had to say:

“My work is good. The tomatoes we planted did well. We were picking 1½ tonnes per day which is 9 tonnes a week. We picked 52 tonnes of tomatoes in the first year apprentice’s fields and our main target was 60 tonnes (a shortfall of 8 tonnes). I think we did well. We are now preparing to plant cabbages and broccoli in 2 hectares at the beginning of February.
Our main challenge has been water.....the crops have suffered from water stress due to the size of the irrigation pipes at Ebenezer (too small). Spraying the crops has also been a challenge because using a knapsack sprayer is time consuming for the number of plots we have. I have been given a spray-blower but getting petrol is the challenge. I hope things will improve in 2012.
It has been easy teaching and working with some of the apprentices because they listen and implement what they are taught. I also do some discipleship as I minister God through farming – God is at the centre of everything. I find discipling the boys easier than as a whole group because the ladies need a woman to discuss some issues.
I enjoy my job and give God all the glory. I’m hoping to teach more people in the next 2 years and not only those at Ebenezer. I feel this is what God would have me do.”

Fantastic! Mbusiso and his family attend Crossroads Community Church. He is one of the emerging leaders who are working closely with Stephen Manhanga.

By Molly Manhanga


Hello 2012

Well, hello 2012! Another year begins but in the agricultural world, work doesn't stop......

Honest Mushandirwa, a second year apprentice picked LARGE butternuts from his field this week. Totally impressive! His butternut crop is certainly an example of what can be produced at Ebenezer.

To add to the excitement of picking this excellent crop, a farm employee spotted a two and a half metre cobra in Honest's field. Needless to say, it quickly attracted many apprentices as they rallied round to "kill" the snake - and kill it they did! The excitement of the butternut outweighed the distraction of the snake. Well done Honest! Let's hope this is a sign of great crop production in 2012.

Previously picked butternut at Ebenezer

By Molly Manhanga